tv Inside Story Al Jazeera July 3, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
..the already shaky ukranian is real. russia's light nipping campaign to pull crimea, part of ukraine for decades back into the territories. an uprising, a new president, a lethal confrontation between national and irregular forces in eastern ukraine. the shortest way of saying it might be it's a mess. a 10-day ceasefire between ukraine and pro-russian separatists has come to a bloody end. government troops renewed their assaults in the eastern cities
of slovyansk and donetsk. four ukrainian troops have been killed since petro porashenko lifted the ceasefire. on monday he ordered troops to quash the insurgency and end the attempts to chip away parts of the country. >> translation: the protection of ukraine's territorial integrity requires not only defensive, but offensive action. we'll advance and liberate the land. nonrenewal of the ceasefire is the answer to the terrorist rebels and looters. >> reporter: by tuesday the interior ministry was captured in donetsk. separatists fought for hours with poorly trained and disorganised troops. rebels took control of a complex, leaving dead officers outside. donetsk is one of with two regions declaring independence from kiev.
the second, luhansk is rallyingy as troops struggle the to stop the separatists. ukraine's president petro porashenko is returning his president to the path towards europe. last week he signed an agreement with e.u. opening trade. telephone negotiations between petro porashenko, his european allies, and russia's president vladimir putin were not enough to keep kiev from acting. putin says the ukrainian president bore a full responsibility for the latest violence, and pledged to defend russian speaking citizens. >> president petro porashenko... unfortunately president petro porashenko made a decision to commence operations. >> reporter: the russian foreign
miles per hourry is calling for you -- foreign ministry is calling to ukraine to continue the ceasefire, adding that the authorities do not care about the fate of small children. with the war of words escalating with the fighting on the ground, russian diplomats joined foreign ministers from germany, france and ukraine on wednesday in berlin, seeking to end the crisis, accusing moscow of beginning and fomenting the trouble. the german chancellor angela merkel said she would not rule russia. >> we will not sop seeking diplomat -- stop seeking conflict. >> it's unclear where the daylight is now. ukraine's new president re aligned the economic interests with europe, the very move that sparked a political crisis and stand off with russia in the first place late last year.
what might vooulin do in the -- vladimir putin do? can sanctions and diplomatic pressure from europe bring russia and ukraine together before this dewolves into further all of out open war? . >> we have been following the story since the first demonstrations in one of kiev's squares escalated into a crisis. since the departure of president viktor yanukovych and the moving of troops from kiev, ending with russia taking the black peninsula from ukraine. joining me from london is a political analyst and advisor to boris yet son u and a senior folio from john hopkins university and from kiev, a spokesperson for the monitoring mission in ukraine of the
organization for security and cooperation in europe. let me start with you michael, you have a network of observers, what are you hearing in the ukraine? >> good to be back here with you. well, as you may know, we finished over the weekend receivingate of our colleagues held captive for a month in ukraine. this is something that was a real hard hit on the mission. it also shows what we are facing right now in those parts. our monitors had a tough time going around doing the daily controls. what we had to do is reconfigure and get people out of harm's way. i know now there are talks of having the mission, for example, monitor border areas.
really security safety of our colleagues is a number one priority. unless one can get the assurances that civilian monitors can go around and monitor, it would be difficult to be part of some kind of agreement where we monitor the borders. i know that you are trying to be neutral in your work in the country, but are you regarded as having taken aside by some of the people who are running these cities in the east? >> i don't think so. we have done a lot of work to inform people who we are, what our mandate is, basically to report unflinchingly and facilitate dialogue, from what we heard from the monitors, including those held captive is they might have been human shields or kept for other reasons, but for the most part a lot of
people are happy with our presence there. i must add that we have been reporting on a deteriorating humanitarian situation, especially in the hot spot of slovyansk, where half the population left the city. there's little electricity, water and sanitation, we are talking about tens of thousands streaming out of the ukraine, a smaller portion to russia and other cities. all of this put together makes for a complex situation. >> so there's this one city, and the situation you describe. if you look at a map of the entire eastern part of the country, are there large sections where the writ of the government in kiev does not run, where petro porashenko is not in charge? >> well, there are large sections which are no go areas
as far as we are concerned. up until, you know, recently we had large teams in slovyansk and don eflent. we had to -- donetsk. we had to draw down numbers and relocate people. i must make it firm, we want to stay in eastern ukraine. we need weapons to disappear. probably hundreds of checkpoints by armed individuals and by the way, some are not connected through larger groups. yes, there are areas where it would be difficult for the monitors to feel safe. that's what we need safety and security. >> let me turn to you at this point. there have been complaints from the government during a long stretch between know and may, but there was no legitimate deposit in kiev with which the
government could speak. is there at least recognition that petro porashenko is in charge. that he is the man that you want to talk to if you want to make a deal between the two countries. >> obviously when petro porashenko was elected, vladimir putin made it clear that moscow wanted to talk to him. there was science that he might be flexible and start talking to the anti-government protectors in the east. it ended in a so-called anti-terrorist campaign getting wider spreading all over the two regions, and further than that. and unfortunately, when the so-called ceasefire agreement was announced, moscow saw it not
as a ceasefire, but more as an ultimatum. because the government in kiev, and the president, they didn't want to start talking to the people in the east. they just said to them that they have to give up the arms and the corridors will be provided for them to leave. this basically didn't create any conditions for any serious discussions. then, of course, what the hypocrisy of the situation was, that petro porashenko needed to go to brussels to sign the economic part of the sesition agreement with the european union. so in this respect the caes mire was a temporary -- ceasefire was a temporary measure to show he was a pacemaker and was going to go to europe and sign the agreement. the agreement will hurt the ukraine economy very much. that's another question. this was basically a manoeuvre,
and nobody was expect ghts the ceasefire agreement will last. and that's what has happened. but i think it's important to remember that the biggest crisis of them all is the humanitarian crisis. we are witnessing terrible suffering of the civilians, that children are dying, women and old people are dying, and i think that is the major problem that has to be resolved at once. nobody should be discussing ideologies, who started what. this has to be resolved. if this is not resolved, there's no point in talking with the government. >> let me turn to ambassador hunter. do you agree that this has to be solved, and are we closer to solving it than we were before the election at the end of may? >> i agree, it has to be solved, but, no, i don't agree we are any closer than we were before
the maydan and the election. the one person who can lead this away from the brink is vladimir putin. he instigated this, not just because of what was doing on in you grain and with regard to the russian speaking part of the population, but in order to get his own back for feeling - the russian people feeling humiliated by the end of the cold war. vladimir putin made his point. if he's serious, he can move in the direction of getting the people in eastern ukraine to back down. theoretically he may not have much control. practically, i think he does. until he's prepared to do that, there's not a lot to talk about. >> i'm interested in the idea he may not have much control.
are you saying he might have unleashed forces not easy to rein in. certainly that's true, but he could move in that direction and stop the war on propa canneda, you must under that ukraine has its roll, and that russia faces a fundamental choice. do they want to do what lenin did, stand aloof, or to try to be part of the west. they had no choice. and vladimir putin might be successful in the short term with public opinion, in the long term he'll be the loser if he doesn't change what he's doing. >> we'll take a short break and discuss the ongoing confrontation much how do you unreal this, how do you undo some of the damage done over the last several months. can you. this is "inside story."
>> welcome back to inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. you're watching a program as we cover the continuing crisis in ukraine. how do you undo the damage that's been done? can you undo the damage that's been done, and how can vladimir putin intervene in a way that gives everybody a chance to, well, move on and realize their best interest to stop the fighting. alexander, have domestic forces been unleashed inside russia that challenge the president? recently sergei lavrov has been quoted making much tougher statement than puti than putin has, and this was lavrov express ing his opinion.
but in most countries mornin foreign ministers don't express opinions that is different from its leader. >> of course there is a debate going on. like in every country. there are different points of view. i would like to point out one important thing. that america has to really, really step back about what is has done in ukraine. when people start telling us about crimea becoming part of russian soil, it all started in february when there was a coup in kiev. the legitimate government, good or bad, corrupt, and so on, it was removed. it was removed in a violent way, by the way. and so for the united states to now say that this
is putin who has stirred up all the problem. and until america and in a sense some european countries accept that it's their fault that the delicate balance which we have in ukraine was completely blown apart just like it happened in iraq, by the way, when the so-called coalition of the willing went in without having any idea what's going to happen there, the same thing happened here. because there was this de delicate balance that was keeping the country together, and then it was blown apart and an unelected regime took over in kiev. the east part of the country was in shock in horror. if you recall what sort of slogans started coming out of kiev. all russian speakers out. all jews out. all
foreigners out. they were torched b by neo-nazis in kiev. but everyone was saying what is that to worry about? this is just a small part of the movement that unseated viktor yanukovych. you can't play games like that. >> let me turn to hunter, that's quite a bill of particulars that you've laid out there, and i'm wondering whether the united states has had that much control, influence, hidden hand as was suggested by alexander. >> i suspect that nobody has done a great job in ukraine over a lengthy period of time. not much by the united states. we've been more or less bystanders. a lot by asia, and a lot by the ukrainians themselves who have had a lot of trouble getting their act together. the question is what do we do now? there are fairly few simple ideas. one, people in all parts of the government in the country need to have greater control over their own lives. secondly, ukraine is not going
to be part of n.a.t.o. it's not going to be part of a russian block, but ukraine is going to be part of the wider world both politically and economically. russia should be, too. if putin had his head screwed on straight, and wanted this country to progress wisely, and if we add the possibility of doing that, this could come out in a positive way. but if we're pre-occupied with the past as churchill said, we're going to all lose the future. >> michael, you know, reports have been coming out for weeks that talk about heavy armor moving to borders, across borders, mysterious unmarked planes. it's hard from all of these thousands of miles away to know exactly what's going on, but you have an observer mission there. are there elements of military
hardware that would be very hard for irregular forces who just decide to grab their rifle and head to the town hall to come up on their own? or had there have to have been outside help? >> oh, absolutely. well, i don't know if there was outside help, but absolutely for the past few weeks we've been reporting on the presence of not just men running around with ak-47s any more. you have heavy armor, tanks, armored personnel vehicles. and as as i think i mentioned previously when i was on air with you, the presence of one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment these mobile launching pads that can shoot down helicopters and airplanes and now a threat to commercial aviation. there absolutely is equipment that you wouldn't normally find in these areas. in luhansk as long ago as a
month and a half ago we documented the presence of over 100 armed groups with as many as 4,000 men. these are some of the people that we confront at check points as we go about our daily business, and i can tell you they're not pleasant for the most part and it makes our monitoring job very difficult. i know we're now talking about looking ahead there are certain, i think, confidence-building measures that can be put in place to help bring about peace. there has been talk of humanitarian corridor, to allow civilian toss move in and out. and peace talks. perhaps there is more scope to give them a chance and to be more inclusive so that people at least the different sides can listen to each other and find solutions to this conflict. >> we're going to take a short break right now.
>> you're watching inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. we're discussing the crisis in ukraine, and we want to end by asking what happens next? ambassador hunter, a group of foreign ministers have gotten together, they're talking about trying to forge a hard and fast for real cease-fire. can they do it? >> oh, i think as soon as the parties want it to happen, particularly if putin wants it to happen, that can be put in place. the osce is there, and they're very good at making these things work. what is happening now ukraine is now on the map. it has a chance to have a better economy. it has a chance to have better politics. russia has a chance to be a part of the outside world. we have a chance to go back to the architectural building that george h.w. bush started 20 years ago, and it went off the
rails. this could come out in a positive way if the key players say let's bet on the future and not the terrible things of the pass. >> alexander, is there enough credibility that russia trusts that party to monitor such a cease-fire going forward? >> well, russia might trust that party, but unfortunately the locals in the east of ukraine don't trust the european union any more. they don't trust those observers. they think they're biased. and maybe they have some reason for that. unfortunately until the government in kiev represents the whole country this is not a government of unity. there is not a single representative of that government. until that is decided, not just
certain groups of people but the whole country, nothing will happen. this is another thing. the think the european union countries and america should stop bluffing but democracy, freedom, the map, ukraine, future. this is an acid grab. we know the name of american businessmen and american companies who are moving in, taking over. i can give you facts, but we don't have time. until they stop this charade, and stop pretending that this is about democracy and helping ukraine find a better future there will be no peace, and there will be no possibility for a cease-fire and an end to this tragedy. >> quickly before we go, would it have been more likely to have representatives of the east in a government if there hadn't been such hard work done at election time to keep polling places closed and keep voters away from the polls.
>> there was no point to hold an election at that time. it was impossible. there was a civil war going on. how do you hold an election. the election was done for one purpose, for president poroshenko to sign that agreement with the european union. and by the way one stroke of the pen, to write off a debt that the e.u. owed to ukraine for that deal with the nuclear weapons in '94. this election was again about business, not democracy, not freedom, business. >> we'll have to stop it there. to my guests, great to have you here today. thanks for being with us. in washington, i'm ray suarez.
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